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Social Studies Assessment, Curriculum, and Instruction (SSACI)

The Social Studies Assessment, Curriculum, and Instruction (SSACI) State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards (SCASS) harnesses the collective wisdom of state leaders and national experts to explore opportunities and address challenges within the field of social studies. The SSACI SCASS focuses on identifying, developing, and sharing high quality educational resources that support student and professional learning through rigorous standards, engaging curriculum, balanced assessments, and effective professional learning. SSACI also raises awareness of legislative trends and policy issues that are likely to impact social studies so state leaders are equipped to plan and respond effectively.

During the 2016-2017 membership year, SSACI achieved the following:

  • Developing a guide to support the implementation of social studies standards
  • Initiating a primer for formative assessments in social studies
  • Engaging with nationally and internationally renowned field experts including Margaret Heritage (formative assessment), Joellen Killion (professional learning and standards implementation), Timothy and Cynthia Shanahan (disciplinary literacy), and Joel Breakstone (historical thinking and assessment)
  • Continuous monitoring and updates around education policy including ESSA
  • High quality professional learning around implementation of standards, formative assessment in social studies, disciplinary literacy, historical literacy and assessment, and online civic reasoning
  • Sharing and exchanging interventions that may become solutions to shared challenges 

The SSACI goals for 2017-2018 include the following:

  • Developing a primer for formative assessment in social studies
  • Continuing support for quality implementation of social studies standards
  • Extending professional learning around implementation of social studies standards, formative assessment, historical thinking, media literacy, and online civic reasoning
  • Enhancing awareness of legislative trends and policy issues such as the Every Student Succeeds Act and citizenship tests
  • Improving social studies education at the elementary level
  • Increasing opportunities for members to share, discuss, and solve challenges within their states and departments
  • Providing professional learning by nationally and internationally renowned experts in the field of social studies education
  • Additional considerations by the SSACI SCASS for 2017-2018 include:
    • Developing an administrator's walk-through tool for social studies
    • Developing a rubric for evaluating the quality of social studies education resources
    • Exploring professional learning around inquiry-based instruction and assessment in social studies classrooms 

The SSACI SCASS offers three face-to-face meetings in fall, winter, and spring that are supplemented periodically by online meetings and webinars to sustain and extend learning and work undertaken at face-face meetings.

Advisor: Fran O'Malley

Fran O'Malley is Senior Associate Director (Social Studies) of the Professional Development Center for Educators and a policy scientist for the Institute for Public Administration's Democracy Project at the University of Delaware. Over the past 25 years, Fran has worked on state level projects focused on the development, revision, and implementation of state standards, curriculum, and assessments. He also participated as an affiliate in the SSACI group that developed the C3 Framework.

Before joining the University of Delaware, Fran taught social studies at the middle and high school levels during which time he earned numerous awards including Delaware State Teacher of the Year, Delaware History Teacher of the Year, the Harry J. Carman Award, and the Award of Honor from the Middle States Council for the Social Studies. 

    Contact:Adam Petermannadam.petermann@ccsso.org202-336-7076